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2019 Jeep Wrangler Getting Ready To Roll In Oz!

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler range is on its way to Australia, with a current expected date of early April being when showrooms will have them on the floor. Starting price is set as $48,950 with on road costs to be added.The range starts with the Jeep Wrangler Sport S, followed by the Overland, and Rubicon. The Sport S and Overland will have a choice of two or four doors, and Rubicon a choice of two engines in four door configuration only.4×4 capability will be standard on all models, with the Rock-Trac 4×4 System fitted to the Rubicon, and Selec-Trac 4×4 System available on all other models. Power will come from Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 Petrol Engine which will be bolted to the new TorqueFlite 8 cogger automatic transmission. Stop-Start (ESS) technology is standard also. A diesel will be available for the Wrangler Rubicon, with the option to specify a 2.2L MultiJet II Turbo Diesel engine. It’ll pump 146kW of power and 347Nm of torque.

Safety features are extensive: Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) kicks off the list, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection complementing ParkView Rear Backup Camera with Dynamic Grid Lines. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) add to the well specified package.Inside the Jeep Wrangler has a 7.0” Uconnect touch screen display housing the fourth-generation Uconnect system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available as standard in the Sport S, and an 8.4-inch display standard on all other variants.

Outside, LED headlamps and tail lamps also feature as standard on the Overland and Rubicon. The grille and windscreen have been given a slight tilt, the bonnet has venting, and the C-pillar has been reprofiled. Wind noise has been reduced and a whopping 13% increase in fuel efficiency has been provided as a result.Sport S will roll on 17 inch wheels, and passengers will enjoy an eight speaker sound system. Towing capacity varies between the two and foor door chassis for all models, with 1,497kg and 2,495kg capabilities. The Overland goes to 18 inch wheels and will feature bespoke interior trim. The hard top roof is removable and features Jeep’s “Freedom Panels”. Alpine provide the sounds via a 9 speaker audio system and 8.4 inch touchscreen. Rubicon goes further with a Front Stabiliser Bar Disconnect system for when down and dirty driving is the go, and will roll on 17 inch alloys with dedicated off-road spec rubber from BF Goodrich. The steel front bar is designed to allow a winch to be fitted without issue. To complement all of the range, over 130 MOPAR accessories can be optioned.Guillaume Drelon, Head of Jeep Brand at FCA Australia, said: “The all-new Wrangler may have evolved, but its core DNA remains unchanged, making this the most capable production SUV on the planet. The Jeep Wrangler sets a precedence by offering renewed levels of style, advanced technology and safety features while remaining true to its rich heritage.”

Contact your local Jeep dealer to organise a test drive.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Hits The Dirt!

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler range is on its way to Australia, with a current expected date of early April being when showrooms will have them on the floor. Starting price is set as $48,950 with on road costs to be added.The range starts with the Jeep Wrangler Sport S, followed by the Overland, and Rubicon. The Sport S and Overland will have a choice of two or four doors, and Rubicon a choice of two engines in four door configuration only.4×4 capability will be standard on all models, with the Rock-Trac 4×4 System fitted to the Rubicon, and Selec-Trac 4×4 System available on all other models. Power will come from Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 Petrol Engine which will be bolted to the new TorqueFlite 8 cogger automatic transmission. Stop-Start (ESS) technology is standard also. A diesel will be available for the Wrangler Rubicon, with the option to specify a 2.2L MultiJet II Turbo Diesel engine. It’ll pump 146kW of power and 347Nm of torque.

Safety features are extensive: Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) kicks off the list, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection complementing ParkView Rear Backup Camera with Dynamic Grid Lines. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) add to the well specified package.Inside the Jeep Wrangler has a 7.0” Uconnect touch screen display housing the fourth-generation Uconnect system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available as standard in the Sport S, and an 8.4-inch display standard on all other variants.

Outside, LED headlamps and tail lamps also feature as standard on the Overland and Rubicon. The grille and windscreen have been given a slight tilt, the bonnet has venting, and the C-pillar has been reprofiled. Wind noise has been reduced and a whopping 13% increase in fuel efficiency has been provided as a result.Sport S will roll on 17 inch wheels, and passengers will enjoy an eight speaker sound system. Towing capacity varies between the two and foor door chassis for all models, with 1,497kg and 2,495kg capabilities. The Overland goes to 18 inch wheels and will feature bespoke interior trim. The hard top roof is removable and features Jeep’s “Freedom Panels”. Alpine provide the sounds via a 9 speaker audio system and 8.4 inch touchscreen. Rubicon goes further with a Front Stabiliser Bar Disconnect system for when down and dirty driving is the go, and will roll on 17 inch alloys with dedicated off-road spec rubber from BF Goodrich. The steel front bar is designed to allow a winch to be fitted without issue. To complement all of the range, over 130 MOPAR accessories can be optioned.Guillaume Drelon, Head of Jeep Brand at FCA Australia, said: “The all-new Wrangler may have evolved, but its core DNA remains unchanged, making this the most capable production SUV on the planet. The Jeep Wrangler sets a precedence by offering renewed levels of style, advanced technology and safety features while remaining true to its rich heritage.”

Contact your local Jeep dealer to organise a test drive.

Wheels Car Of The Year Winner Is…..

2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design Launch Edition.

Private Fleet Car Review: 2019 Lexus LX 570s

This Car Review Is About:
The 2019 model year Lexus LX 570s. The LX (Luxury Crossover) has either a diesel V8 or, in this test car, a 5.7L V8 that drinks petrol. Drinks being the operative word. The price is just over $168,000 plus on roads.Under The Bonnet Is:
A thumping 5.7L V8 with 270kW and 530Nm, with these requiring 5600rpm and 3200rpm. In anything smaller those numbers would suggest something pretty hot. However, with the LX 570s weighing in at close to 3000kg (Gross Vehicle Mass is 3350 kilograms, by the way), it means leisurely progress. It’s not sluggish, but it’s not quick. Consumption is quoted by Lexus as being 14.4L per 100 kilometres, with our test run seeing a final figure of 14.8L/100km. That’s reasonable as most of the time was in suburbia. Mind you, that’s why there are a pair of tanks fitted, at 93Lin the main and 45L for the reserve. Towing is rated at 3500kg (braked) but with the engine’s best performance at 3500rpm and over, fuel consumption would skyrocket in any case.The transmission is an eight speed auto, fitted with drive modes and a crawler mode for any off-roading. Being based on one of the world’s best four wheel drive vehicles isn’t a bad thing, but there’s a hiccup outside. We’ll cover that separately. The auto is a pearler, and was very rarely found wanting in regards to slickness and ability. It was sometimes confused as to what to do, and typically that was stopping and getting underway quickly.

On The Inside Is:
Useable amounts of space, as one can imagine inside a big machine. That’s the start. There there is a single sunroof, 11.6 inch screens on the back of the driver and passenger seats for the mid row passengers, and they have a remote control that’s found in a centre fold out that also holds the rear section aircon controls. Input via HDMI is available and that’s located at the bottom of the centre console facing the middle row passengers. Wireless headphones are included. No USB ports, a strange and oddly disquieting oversight. But, in compensation almost, the middle row seats are heated and cooled too.The rear ‘gate is a split fold affair, with the top half powered and can be switched off for manual operation. This allows access to the third row seats that are powered. In normal position they’re folded up against the sides and buttons for lowering or raising are easily accessed.The front row is a pair of powered seats, heated and vented, and as comfortable as they come. It’s almost a gentleman’s club feel, as the seats are supple, supportive, and the dash’s look is classy and up-market. The LX 570s has the mouse control for the screen and again it’s frustratingly close to being good enough. Far too often that extra one percent of pressure required had the on-screen marker go one notch too far. Other than that, the interface is typical Lexus in that it’s easy to read and follow, especially with the sub-menu system. the sound system is from Mark Levinson, with a digital tuner sounding superb. The system is well balanced and provides a clarity equal to home theatre systems.The driver has a non digital dash screen, at odds with the rest of the tech the LX 570s has. Analogue dials bracket the traditional digital screen. That’s accessed via the standard steering wheel mounted tabs and buttons. As always, that part is easy to use.A nice touch is the large centre console mounted cool box. Fed by the aircon’s cooling section, it’s big enough to hold a six pack of cans and works tremendously well in cooling items to a cold temperature. An extra touch is the wireless charging pad that is somewhat inconveniently located in a niche at the bottom of the centre stack. Although it’s big enough to hold a ‘phone with a six inch screen size it’s not quite ergonomically on song.Storage for bottles and cups is appropriate for the passenger count, with all doors and centre consoles front and rear able to provide a spot. And should passengers in the middle row feel as if they’re too close or too far away from the front seats, they too are electrically adjustable. Nor is it light on for safety. Dual front kneebags, for example, plus the front/side/curtain bags. Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking with flashing tail lights are all here. Auto LED headlights, LED tail lights (they look great at night, too), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert add to the overall package nicely. Two ISOFIX mounts are there for the middle row.The Outside Has:
Lexus’ distinctive “spindle” grille up front. It’s….eye catching enough on the smaller cars, but in a redesigned pattern in gloss black on a Land Cruiser sized vehicle it’s enough to frighten small children and challenge a blue whale for sifting plankton. The LX 570s gets some additional plastics up front and rear, too, and as good an off-roader it could be, they’re positioned just where a rock or tree stump would rip them off. Even a water crossing has the potential to do some decent cosmetic damage. That goes for the side skirts as well. But one suspects that the main base for this would be in suburbia anyways. However, should a person in a rural area have one, there is no doubt that it would be more than able to cope as long as there is a reasonably clear path.

It’s boxy when seen from the front or rear directly. Width is 1980mm, and height at 1865mm means it’s almost a 1:1 ratio in profile. Rolling stock is huge. Black painted alloys are 21 inches in diameter, and rubber is from Dunlop, at 275/55. That’s plenty of rubber for a footprint, and it also means the front end would “tramline”, following road imperfections momentarily.On The Road It’s:
Clear that it has a lot of mass. Punch it off the line and there’s a muted but distinct V8 rumble from each end. It slurs up through the gears just fine and the changes are largely seamless. Downhill runs have the ‘box holding gears nicely. Due to its mass the LX 570s is best driven with a judicious hand; even with the foot buried it’s not rapid from a standing start, and a more normal approach to moving forward yields better results. Rolling acceleration is adequate but, again, hampered by the mass of the LX 570s. Lexus quotes a kerb weight of 2510kg as a minimum, you see.

Handling is predictable and easily controlled. The steering is superbly weighted for the size of the machine and the wheels & tyres. It’s almost light enough for two fingered driving; on the wheel, not at cars outside. But the weight of the steering means both hands are better employed as that way the feedback is better communicated.

Sitting on height adjustable airbags with double wishbone suspension, the LX 570s does move about on the tops of the setup but never to a point that has the driver feeling out of sorts. Lexus have fitted higher performance dampers and the result is obvious to a seat of the pants driver. Initial compression on the damnable speed restrictors in shopping centres is brilliant, with virtually no wayward vertical movement in the cabin. In normal freeway driving it’s as composed as you’d want but that niggle at the back of the brain, knowing that it’s over two and a half tonnes, keeps you from thinking any sporty thoughts. And the brakes? They could do with some more initial feel. And when they do bite, they bite hard, pitching the five metre long machine forward on its somewhat shortish 2850mm wheelbase.The Warranty Is:
Four years or 100,000 kilometres, with the additional benefit of Lexus Drive Care. That covers items such as a up to $150 one way taxi fares, a courier service for small parcels, even personal and clothing costs up to $250. Contact Lexus for servicing costs, though.

At The End Of The Drive.
The 2019 Lexus LX 570s is a lot of car, with a lot of money for a buyer to invest in it. It’s comfortable to be in, reasonably easy to drive, has plenty of fruit but, for the money, a better drive package can be had elsewhere. A measure of how could be the Mercedes-Benz GLS 500. At the time of writing its drive-away price was just over $177, 600. Audi’s forthcoming Q8 with a turbocharged 3.0L V6 is looking at under $130K plus on roads. True, that’s a five seater but you get the idea.

And with the inexorable shift towards more fuel efficient powertrains, the consumption figures in this vehicle speak against it too. Plus, although undoubtedly a very good off-roader, the likelihood of it seeing such is akin to Elvis recording a new album with John Lennon.

More information can be found here.

Return Of The Icon: Suzuki Jimny Is Back!

Suzuki Australia has released details of the hotly anticipated 2019 Suzuki Jimny. Packed with proper off-road cred, historic styling cues, and some good looking new cues, the fourth gen Jimny goes on sale in the final days of January.  Pricing is $23, 990 and $25, 990, with both the manual and auto on a drive-away price. Unveiled to members of the Australian motoring press at the Melbourne 4×4 training grounds, near Werribee, west of Melbourne, the Jimny was put through its paces alongside its more soft road oriented sibling, the Vitara. That car has also been given a freshen up.

Jimny will come with a five speed manual or (disappointingly, just a four speed) auto, but, pleasantly, comes with a low range transfer case. This was put to the test across a variety of surfaces, slopes, (which included a thirty degree incline), and river fording.

Power is courtesy of a single engine choice. A seemingly small 1.5L petrol engine, (there’s no diesel) proved more than adequate in motivating the Jimny through these test sections. Peak power of 75kW and peak torque of 130Nm propelled the 1435kg (GVM) machine without issue.

Driven initially on dried and compact mud, the Jimny immediately impressed with its neutral handling and ready willingness to absorb the variance in the dirt. Given a short run-up to the concrete ramp, with first gear and low range four wheel drive selected, around 3000 revs were dialed up before the ascent of the ten metre plus incline. Straight away a downhill run was proffered, and Hill Descent Control showed its mettle.A gentle nudge over the edge, the leap of faith by keeping the foot off the brake to let the Jimmy do its thing, and seconds later back to the horizontal. Jimny is helped in its dexterity thanks to a departure angle of a staggering 49 degrees, with an almost equally short overhang providing a nearly as staggering 37 up front. Ramp or breakover angle is also impressive at 28 degrees and this also was tested without fuss.

Driven through some river crossings, the 210mm wading depth and 195/80/15 rubber gave ample traction for the Jimny, with the the comparatively lightweight machine feeling planted and stable.

Jimny rides on a ladder chassis that’s had an extra “x-member” and two cross members fitted for superb lateral and linear strength. Coupled with rigid axles front and rear, coil springs, and eight rubber body mounts, overall car control and feedback is superb inside the 2250mm wheelbase. That’s mightily impressive considering the 3480mm bumper to bumper length. Left in two wheel drive for normal performance, the turning circle is 4.9m but in 4×4 mode that increases.The aforementioned external styling cues come with the low set rear tail lights, distinctively circular front lights, five slot front grille and shallow angled bonnet with flutes in the bottom of the “A-pillar”. The indicators are separate to the headlights as well, as per the heritage ethic. A few extra touches come from the drip rails over the doors, solid and assertive black polyurethane body guards, and those low set tail lights allow a wider rear door opening to the plastic coated backs of the rear seats.

Modernity hits the Jimny with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satnav, a touchscreen of seven inches, and Bluetooth. Autonomous Emergency Braking, Hill Hold Control, Hill Descent Control, Lane Departure Warning, and auto headlight dipping, along with six airbags round out a well rounded safety package. However, the doors don’t have bottle holders, the seatbelts are well behind the driver and passenger shoulder, and the passenger’s grab bar looks as if reinforcing is needed.Pricing for the spunky and funky 2019 Suzuki Jimny, with a range of six colours, will be released later this week.

(David was given the opportunity to drive the new Jimny courtesy of Suzuki Australia.)

Private Fleet Car Review: 2018 MY Isuzu MU-X LS-U Seven Seater

This Car Review Is About:
The 2018 model year MU-X from Isuzu. It’s a diesel fed engine range only, comes with seven seats, and two or four wheel drive across three trim levels. The vehicle tested was the near top of the range seven seater with four wheel drive called LS-U. Prices start at $50,200 plus on road costs for the entry level MU-X LS-M, $50,400 for the LS-U, and $56,200 for the top of the range LS-T.Under The Bonnet Is:
A low revving 3.0L diesel that produces 130kW at 3600rpm, and delivers 430Nm of torque between 2000 to 2200rpm. There is 300Nm on tap at just 1500rpm. Isuzu quote the engine as consuming, on a combined cycle, 7.9L to 8.1L per 100km, depending on trim level. The review vehicle was with us for just under three weeks, with a majority of country running (close to 2000km being covered), and generally with four aboard plus cargo. We finished on 8.5L/100km, decent considering the 2750kg gross vehicle mass (GVM). It’s rated as Euro5 for emissions and for up to 3.0 tonnes for towing. Fuel capacity is 65 litres.It’s a key start, not push button. A simple turn, the engine fires up almost immediately. The engine itself has a variable geometry turbo which is designed to alter the flow of engine exhaust in an effort to overcome the phenomenon known as turbo lag. It’s mostly well sorted here, however there were more than a few occasions where the engine felt like it was switched off, and they were invariably coming into a stop zone, and then being able to continue fairly quickly. The response was as if the turbo had stopped and needed a reboot to start spinning again.

It’s a fairly quiet unit, especially when off-load pedal wise. Hard acceleration brings out the typical diesel clatter and chatter but it’s surprisingly quiet otherwise. A good analogy is being in an aircraft coming into land, where the engine noise drops and becomes a background sound.

Transmission choices are limited. The range is mainly a six speed auto, however there is a six speed manual available on the 4×4 LS-U. The review vehicle was fitted with the auto and it’s fair to say it’s a very well sorted unit. Given the engine’s low stress, low rev, locomotive style characteristics, the ratios for the auto do a great job of harnessing the torque. 110kmh sees around 1600rpm in sixth on the freeway. 120kmh is still just under 2000rpm. Shifts are smooth, mostly seamless, and the Hill Descent Control part of the software knocks the gearbox back a cog or two and holds there on downhill tarmac based runs.

The four wheel drive system is operated electronically. A centre console mounted dial allows shifting between two wheel drive to four wheel drive high range “on the fly” at speeds up to one hundred kilometres per hour. Low range requires a stopped vehicle, neutral, and Drive. The end result is a solid, proven, ability to get some real dirt into the 255/60/18 rubber from Bridgestone.

On The Inside Is:
Seven seats, all cloth covered in the LS-U with Isuzu PR also throwing in rubber mats, a decision that paid dividends later. Trim is mainly black plastic, with a semi-gloss sheen. The third row seats are pull-strap operated, with a simple pull to both raise and lower. There is some additional cargo compartments fitted at the rear behind these seats. Middle row seats are tumble fold, allowing access from the rear door to the seats. The tail gate is manually operated, not powered.The driver’s seat is powered, with the passenger’s manually operated. The dash is a simple affair and varies considerably from Holden’s Trailblazer (formerly Colorado 7). The centre stack is dominated by a large dial for the aircon temperatures, with fan control, air direction, etc mounted in a sub-circle around it. This feeds extra vents in the roof which are themselves controlled by a separate dial for fan speed in the roof, with a dash mounted on/off button. The upper console has a shallow but broad storage locker, with a button that sometimes sticks. Centre console storage is a small locker and two cup/bottle holders.The driver’s dash display is simple, again with a circular theme in the LCD screen. This features fuel on the right in segments, with engine temperature on the left. The screen is multifunction, showing travel distance, distance to empty, fuel consumption, and more. Access is via a push button on both stalks, meaning you can scroll through left to right, or vice versa. It’s a nicely laid out look and shows up how badly the main eight inch touchscreen needs an overhaul. It’s full of pale, pastel, colours, looks like a washed out example of something on Japanese TV screens from the 1980s, and although featuring satnav, the response time is slow. Too slow. Also, there is no DAB audio. To counter this, it links to both DVD and CD, with roof mounted surround speakers for the front seats. Should one wish to utilise the cargo, up to 1830L of space is available with rear and middle row seats folded.Head, leg, and shoulder room aren’t a problem. Isuzu lists front leg room as 1106mm, middle as 915mm, and rear at 815mm. Head room up front is 1009mm, middle at 980mm, and 929mm for the rear. This provides great all round vision for the family. Shoulder room is 1453mm, 1340mm, 1009mm respectively.The Outside Has:
The test car had a tow bar, weather shields, and bonnet protector fitted. Check with your Isuzu dealer for costings. Paint is a gorgeous pearlescent white, and highlights the 1860mm height, 4825mm length, and 1860mm width nicely. Although the exterior shaping hasn’t changed much over the last few years, there has been a couple of subtle rejigs to at least keep a semblance of freshness. The front is a gentle yet assertive mix of angles, with LED running lights set as eyebrows above the main lights. There are globes in the lower bumper section to back these up.The black plastic bonnet protector and weather shields contrast well with the white pearl. Isuzu offer Cosmic Black, Havana Brown, Magnetic Red, Obsidian Grey, Titanium Silver, and Splash White as their palette. All highlight the muscular stance and body of the MU-X’s stern stare and do a good job of slim-lining the otherwise bulky rear. A full sized spare is mounted outside and under the cargo area.

The design allows the MU-X to have an approach angle of 24 degrees, 25 degrees departure, but the high centre of gravity provides just 19 degrees of ramp-over. Isuzu back up the ability by adding in a solid list of safety features. Four channel ABS, Electronic Stability Control, and Hill Descent Control get backed up by Trailer Sway Control. Reverse Camera, rear sensors, and six airbags are also standard.

On The Road It’s:
An easy going, lope along, low stress machine. The readily available torque down low is somewhat hobbled in the acceleration stakes by both the gearing and the fact it runs out of puff quickly once around the 3500rpm mark. It’s just above idle when traveling at around sixty, meaning the diesel chatter is a muted background thrum. The characteristics of the package settle down to something simple: it’s muscular but not quick, with overtaking an example of planning ahead.

The review car was taken on two substantial country trips from the Blue Mountains where it demonstrated its easy going highway nature. It’s a superb cruiser, and with the revs sitting below 2000rpm it really is a super relaxed machine to be in. Although the cloth seats lacked ventilation, they are well padded enough to have a two to three hour stint behind the wheel having the driver relatively fresh. The relatively high sidewalls on the rubber add a sometimes spongy ride but also do a lot to help absorption of varying road surfaces, both on and off tarmac. Front suspension is coil springs around gas filled dampers, with a multi-link rear end and gas filled dampers feeling marginally softer.

On the straight the MU-X is solidly planted however the steering lacks real feel. It’s like a tight and twisted rubber rope from centre to a good half turn either side. Oddly enough, the response is quite quick but the slightly soft suspension and a feeling of a high centre of gravity leave a sensation of spongy movement, a lurching body. In context, any moves need to be planned, such as they were on the highway south of Canberra and between Cooma and Bega.

A properly trained driver can adjust to the body movement and work with it to ensure a smooth transition from planted to movement. Brown Mountain is a prime example of this. There’s a down and up hill section of ten kilometres that tests both engine and transmission, both steering and ride. The steering gets a excellent test here and the MU-X needs some judicious handwork to make sure weight transfer is kept to a minimum. The brakes on the MU-X are pretty damned good at dealing with downhill runs too, with reasonable pedal feedback, a decent movement through the pedal travel, and good ability to haul it up when required.The MU-X was taken off road and with ground clearance of 230mm it’s not the highest sitting machine but managed a section of the Bega river with no qualms. Four wheel drive high was all that was needed. It was a different story on a local fire trail well used for off-road testing. Water pressure popped an insert in the lower left bumper, dislodged a plastic shroud, and a rock compressed a side step. All nothing major but enough to show some reinforcement is required. What was also noticeable is a sensation of the suspension stiffening up, adding more confidence to the ride.The Warranty Is:
Five years or 130,000 kilometres, with capped price servicing for the first five services.

At The End Of The Drive.
Isuzu’s industrial heritage is on display here with the MU-X. And that’s a good thing. It’s strong, reliable, and comfortable. The interior could use a lift in presence, especially the dash and console, otherwise it’s comfortable enough to be in and to drive from. Fit and finish on the inside is tight and well made, with a good glass area helping minimise feelings of being closed in. The economy is also great for a family, with consistent figures below 9.0L/100kmh for a loaded vehicle a surefire winner.

What was noticeable during the near three weeks of review time was the sheer amount of D-Max and MU-X vehicles seen. This, amongst many reasons, is reason enough to consider the Isuzu MU-X range when looking for a family oriented SUV. Here is the link to access further details and download a brochure. Don’t forget to contact Private Fleet to see what we can do for you.

Subaru High Fives! The Warranty, That Is.

Subaru has joined the extended warranty club, with five years and unlimited kilometres warranty now being made standard. As an added benefit, Subaru will extend the warranty of three years to five.

As Subaru’s website says: If you purchased your new Subaru before 1 January 2019 and during a campaign period which included an offer of a 2 year manufacturer’s extended warranty, your standard Subaru Warranty of 3 Years/Unlimited Kilometres will automatically have been extended to 5 Years/Unlimited Kilometres.

If your vehicle’s warranty is extended under the offer you will have received a communication from Subaru Australia confirming your vehicle is covered by a 5 Year/Unlimited Kilometre Warranty.

This brings Subaru into line with all but two manufacturers in the mainstream marketplace, with just Toyota and Nissan left holding the three year warranty line.

Any vehicle bought new from Subaru from January 1 automatically attracts the new warranty as well. Extra peace of mind comes in owner transferable warranty, meaning that if an owner of a vehicle with the five year warranty on-sells the car within that period then the warranty goes with the car.

The fine print can be found here:Subaru Five Year Warranty

2019 Mitsubishi Triton Is Ready To Rumble.

Updated, stronger, and better, the Mitsubishi Triton update for 2019 is on the way. Mitsubishi have given the Triton a new face, with their proprietary “Dynamic Shield” front and centre. The all wheel drive system has been given an update, and the level of safety has been improved even further.The design team have gone to some length to ensure that, as a 4WD capable off-roader, that design elements provide good looks and safety. This extends to the placement of the headlights and the judicious use of chrome to highlight the Shield design ethic. The rear end has been given a makeover also, with reprofiled tail lights and bumper adding extra visual appeal.Underneath and outside are changes to the drivetrain and body styles. There is the four door cabin or double cab, the club cab with storage space behind the seats, and the single cab, with extra tray capacity. The all terrain system has been improved with the 2WD and 4WD Super-Select now getting Mud/Snow, Sand, Gravel, and Rock in the GLS and GLS Premium trim levels, with the latter receiving a rear diff lock. Naturally there are the high and low range gearing in the drivetrain. The 4WD versions have a ground clearance of 220mm, an approach angle of 31 degrees, and a departure angle of 23 degrees. Breakover angle is 25 degrees. The suspension has been kept at the double wishbone front and double leaf rear springs, with a change to the structure and the addition of bigger dampers for better ride control.

Safety now has Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Blind Spot Warning (with Lane Change Assist), Front Collision Mitigation (FCM) autonomous braking with camera and laser radar systems to detect cars and pedestrians;and Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) which reads surrounding areas and blanks engine power if it reads a presence.The interior has had the wand waved over it. Materials have been given a colour change to a more even toned scheme, with a alloy look plastic trim fitment and stitching on certain parts of the cabin bringing in a luxurious look. A repositioning of the console has extra storage space being made available, plus there is the addition of a USB charging point for rear seat passengers. Up front, the driver seeds a redesigned dash display with a higher definition than before screen.To get the Triton underway, Mitsubishi use their well sorted 2.5L diesel. Peak power is 133kW at 3500rpm, with peak torque of 430Nm coming in at a very usable 2500rpm. The engine block itself is lighter and built using a diescast alloy formula. the existing five speed auto has been bumped for a six speed, with taller gear ratios for better fuel economy. The existing six speed manual remains. The entry level model stays with the 2.4L petrol engine and five speed manual combination.

The range kicks off with the 4×2 GLX cab chassis, with the 2.4L petrol engine and manual at a manufacturers list price of $22,490. The Club cab starts at $35,490 for the GLX manual and diesel, whilst the dual cab starts with the GLX pick-up from $36,290 and tops out at $51,990 for the 4×4 GLS Premium 2.4L Pick Up Auto Diesel.The 2019 Triton range is due for release in the first quarter of the year.

The Electric Cat Wins EV Award

Infrastructure is expanding, understanding of the technology is increasing, and more brands are getting into the electric car field. Once renowned for sports cars and luxury cars, Jaguar is one of those companies. Their new i-Pace has recently been named Top Gear Magazine’s Electric Vehicle of the year, with the car racking up 19 awards in 2018.

It’s powered by a pair of bespoke electric engines that develop 400 horsepower and 696Nm of torque. 0-100 time is 4.5 seconds thanks to its all wheel drive and lightweight architecture. Getting the car underway with a drained battery takes just 40 minutes to an 80% charge level at a charging station, or, like virtually all buyers would do, a home charger will do that overnight. Expected range is 470 kilometres, enough to travel from Sydney to Canberra comfortably and take advantage of the charging stations there.

Available in Australia from $119,000 plus on roads, the i-Pace will also have the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, capable of over-the-air software updates, and uses artificial intelligence to adapt to a driver’s personal preferences, ensuring driving and infotainment settings are matched to each individual using the car.

The legendary Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, said: “We’re delighted to see the I-PACE named EV of the Year by BBC TopGear Magazine.

“As our first all-electric Jaguar we set out with a goal to make the I-PACE the world’s most desirable electric vehicle and recognition like this clearly shows that we are achieving it.”

Contact Jaguar for more details here.

 

Car Review: 2019 Peugeot 3008 Allure.

Peugeot’s 2018 3008, an award winning vehicle, is a second generation, extensively reworked version of the 3008 and facelifts released originally in 2008, with the second generation from 2016. We test the 2019 spec Peugeot 3008 Allure, priced at just under $41K plus on road costs.Power is supplied by a torquey 1.6L petrol engine, with 1400 revs seeing 240Nm being available thanks to a low pressure turbo. With 6000 rpm on the tacho, peak power is 121kW. Transmission is a six speed DCT. Peugeot quotes combined fuel economy as 7.0 & 7.3L per 100 kilometres, with city cycle driving as 9.8L & 10.1L per 100 kilometres. The two figures are quoted due to the Grip Control being off or on. Grip Control is a choice of drive modes for differing surfaces, and activated via a dial in the forward centre console.The actual driving experience varies from slightly frustrating to a lot of fun. Frustrating because of the delay in engagement from park to reverse to Drive, to grin inducing pull from low revs as the 3008 Allure sets sail. The changes are crisp, swift, smooth, in hte transmission when under way and manually changing does sharpen them further.

The Allure is a stylish machine, with the underpinnings a new platform called EMP2 that allows a superb ride and handling package. Steering, for example, is razor sharp in its responsiveness off centre, with a quarter turn or so having the nose swing round quickly. At speed the variable ratio steering lightens up and there’s less effort required to work.The ride on the 18 inch alloys, with 225/55 Continentals as the rubber, is beautifully tuned and balanced. There’s a suppleness that’s rare to find in anything other than mid to high end luxury cars, with an initial give that is followed by a progressive compression that stops before the bump-stops in all but the heaviest push over larger speed-bumps.

Out on the freeway it’s absorbent to a fault, dialling out irregularities and undulations as easily as it rides over the unsettled gravel and broken surfaces. It’s beyond superb and in its class a genuine leader. The passengers feel minimal movement and what there is comes through smoothly and calmly. Weighing in at just under 1400kg before fuel and cargo, the relatively lightweight 3008 moves easily from lane to lane when required, and does so without noticeable body roll.

The Peugeot 3008 range is front wheel drive biased, and for the most part isn’t noticeable as such. It’s really only, and typical of front wheel drive cars, when the loud pedal is punched hard that something resembling torque steer is noticeable.

Peugeot, being a French brand, isn’t adverse to a mix of style and quirks, with the latter good and not so. Certainly it’s stylish. The boxy design has enough lines, brightwork, and additions to the exterior to move it away from similarly styled machines. Although just the second level in the 3008 range, it comes with a powered tail gate and kick-activation. Inside it had a smartphone wireless charger. Gear selection is via a pilot style lever, with a button on the right to unlock and rock back and forth for Drive, Reverse, Neutral. Park is a simple push on the top, and Sports mode enables manual changing via the selector or paddles.It also features the i-Cockpit, a full colour 12.3 inch LCD screen housed in a binnacle above the sightline of the top of the steering wheel. It’s clear and easy on the eye, will change colour at the turn of the drive mode switch, but either the top or bottom of the screen gets blanked by the tiller. At odds with the charger pad and powered tail gate is no power for the cloth and leather seats. As comfortable pews as they are, to offer the two others but not electric seats is a strange decision. Another oddity is locating the bonnet opener in the left hand door’s forward meeting point, directly under the hinges. Bearing in mind a left hand drive market, hiding it away when the door is closed is one thing, elegance in design is another.

Ergonomics are otherwise very good, with controls for the aircon and radio (including DAB) found via plastic vertically oriented switches that act as starting points for the very well equipped touchscreen. The cockpit itself is defineably a setup oriented towards a driver and passenger separation, with the centre console gently rising and curling towards the right hand seat under the centre air-vents and eight inch touchscreen.The materials themselves, a mix of soft plastics and an almost light denim style material, on the console and dash are pleasant to look at and feel. A lovely extra touch is the soft glow of ambient lighting in the cabin, the centre console cup holders, around the binnacle, and in the doors. Sound and apps wise, the DAB audio punches well, and screen mirroring along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is standard.The exterior is sweetly shaped, especially for a relative smallish 4447mm length. The nose is a very bluff and upright chrome affair that sits over a broad horizontal set of four intakes and a alloy look chin. Intense LED driving lights eyebrow the normal headlights, with a signature “fin” motif in the design of the cluster.Our test car came clad in the lustrous metallic red paint with black roof, called Metallic Copper and Neon Black, highlighted by chrome strips. Tail lights are the familiar Peugeot claw. The lower extremities are black polycarbonate and the rear bumper gets a chrome strip running full width. As stated, a stylish package.

Finally, the Allure wraps up the good looks and lovely ride with a decent set of safety aids. Airbags all round, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control…not all of which are standard but can be optioned on the Allure.

Peugeot look after the 3008 with a five year warranty, a 12 year corrosion warranty, and a 24/7 roadside assistance package.

At The End of The Drive.
The Peugeot 3008 range is an award winner for the right reasons. It’s a superb handler, a very good drive, adds features at a good price, and brings the typical Gallic quirks. It’s roomy enough for four with no problems, has a good level of standard kit, is frugal enough in the real world and….well, it just does what it does at a high level all round. Check the 2019 Peugeot 3008 Allure out here.